Many in the West have a problem with an independent, proud, determined and defiant Jewish State.
In much of the West, Woody Allen is a “good Jew”. For them, Jews like Barbara Streisand and Jerry Seinfeld are universally admired. On the other hand, in much of the West, the late Israeli leader Ariel Sharon was a “bad Jew”. For them, Jews like Benjamin Netanyahu and Yitzhak Shamir are universally abhorred.
Nearly 70 years after the rebirth of the Jewish state, deeply entrenched perceptions of Jews and their place in the world stubbornly persist in much of the Western world. While much of the Jewish People has left exile and returned home to Israel, much of the West remains mentally stuck in a pre-1948 era of the wandering and defenseless Jew.
Jews like Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld embody what much of the West perceives as the defining characteristics of a “good Jew”: cosmopolitan and powerless. By contrast, an independent and powerful Jewish state fundamentally challenges these deeply ingrained anti-Jewish stereotypes. Ariel Sharon was widely abhorred because he embodied the reviled characteristics of a “bad Jew”: a proud Zionist Jew who rejects Jewish homelessness and unapologetically responds to anti-Jewish aggression with Jewish military power. By the same token, Benjamin Netanyahu is not demonized because of what he does but because of who he is: the Prime Minister of an independent and powerful Jewish State. Israeli Prime Ministers rarely win international popularity contests.
While the Woody Allens crack jokes, Israeli Prime Ministers make life and death decisions; Woody Allens whine about their misfortune on TV interviews and in movies, while leaders of the Jewish state sign international treaties and give orders to dispatch the Israeli Air Force, Navy and Army into action. Israel’s Prime Minister is the ultimate “bad Jew” who effectively demolishes the deeply ingrained stereotype of the wandering and powerless Jew. Sympathies are mainly reserved for rootless and powerless “good Jews”. By contrast, “bad Jews” who proudly embrace Jewish national independence and military power are demonized as “aggressors” and “racists”.
This mindset explains the widespread attraction of Jewish-born Israel-critics like Noam Chomsky and Max Blumenthal who have made a career by slandering the Jewish nation’s right to self-determination and self-defense. Much of their fan base are self-appointed Western liberals who officially reject all forms of racism while embracing anti-Jewish sentiment. By contrast, Jews who defend Israel in public, like Alan Dershowitz and Ben Shapiro, are widely condemned. They are “bad Jews”.
Millions of people in the West believe that Israel is a “colonial implant” and a “compensation for the Holocaust”. This Orwellian inversion of reality, whitewashes 3000 years of Jewish history in Israel and the fact that millions of European Jews could have been saved if Israel had been reestablished in 1938 instead of 1948.
In contrast to the romanticized tale about the free world embracing Jewish national rebirth in Israel, British and French foreign office and US State Department officials expected the Jews to reject the UN partition plan as was offered. Few Western military experts believed that the resurrected Jewish state would survive the Pan-Arab onslaught in 1948. Yet no one came our defense.
The Jewish people’s historical and national rights in its ancestral homeland Israel were recognized by the international community during the San Remo Conference in 1920. However, the collective memory is short and anti-Jewish bigotry continues to thrive in the 21st century among self-appointed human rights champions.
Soviet-Arab propaganda’s assault on truth paved the way to the infamous UN resolution that equates Jewish national independence with “racism”. Although this anti-Semitic resolution was officially revoked in 1991, its toxic message refuses to die and is embraced by countless bigots worldwide from Baghdad to Berlin and from Pakistan to Paris. While the Islamic world explicitly demands that Jews must be subservient dhimmis, much of the West does it implicitly by demonizing the Jewish state, supporting her enemies and denying the Jewish nation the universal right to self-defense and security in its ancestral homeland.
Shimon Peres was universally praised as the “good Jew” when he supported unilateral Israeli concessions and pipedream “peace” with the implacable terror organization PLO. However, as the father of Israel’s nuclear deterrence, Shimon Peres was condemned as a “bad Jew”.
The obsessive international rejection of any Jews in Judea and Samaria is ultimately not about the professed well-being of the local Arab population. Neither Europe, the US State Department nor the UN demanded the establishment of a PLO terror state while the disputed territories were illegally occupied by Jordan and Egypt during the period 1948-1967. Before the Arab aggression against Israel in 1967, the Jewish state was approvingly perceived as weak and vulnerable. After Israel’s spectacular victory in six days, the Jewish state was widely condemned as “aggressive” and “arrogant”.
The Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria symbolize what the international community rejects: a defiant Jewish return to its ancestral homeland protected by Jewish military power. The systematic and hypocritical condemnations of Israel’s self-defense as “disproportionate” and “excessive” are rooted in the bigoted view that the Jewish nation deserves neither independence nor the right to defend her freedom.
The West claims it wants to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict but its own anti-Jewish bigotry emboldens Israel’s Middle Eastern enemies.
The ugly truth is that Western obsession with “good Jews” who are homeless pacifists, has undermined the possibility of a genuine and realistic peace between Jews and Arabs.” Like it or not, the “bad Jews” have proudly returned home to Israel for good. We will not hesitate to fight for the same national freedom that nations worldwide from Norway to Nepal take for granted.
Daniel Krygier is a writer and political analyst. He lives in Israel.